IDC: 5 times more expensive to use Windows XP than Windows 7
In yet another bid to convince businesses to move away from the aged Windows XP operating system, Microsoft sponsored analyst firm IDC to analyze the risks, user productivity and IT labor costs associated with running Windows XP as opposed to Windows 7. IDC interviewed nine enterprises and determined that the annual support cost of using the aging Windows XP is $870 per PC, more than five times the cost of using Windows 7, which came in at $168 per PC.
The results of the study can be found in a whitepaper, "Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea," which is downloadable from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) for free here. The IDC report concluded, "Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments."
Windows XP will no longer be supported after April 2014, when monthly security patches will no longer be issued. This means that any OS-related security vulnerability will remain unpatched, and can be exploited by hackers to gain control of the PC. As such, Microsoft has repeatedly called for Windows XP to be retired, and for users not to wait for the arrival of Windows 8 to do so. Moreover, Windows XP systems are also a hotbed for rootkit infection, according to an antivirus vendor in a report last year.
Referring to the findings by IDC in a blog entry, Erwin Visser, a senior director for Windows, reiterated, "Staying on Windows XP is an expensive investment when Windows 7 provides dramatic savings." Visser offered a list of tools and resources to help businesses with the migration, which includes the suggestion to move to Office 365 to get familiar with collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud.